If you choose to outsource, you do the opposite: You hire freelancers or, more commonly, a video production agency, to manage video projects for you.

The video production process typically involves:

  • Writing a video brief
  • Storyboarding and script writing
  • Location scouting
  • Acquiring and maintaining equipment (cameras, lights, mics, and props)
  • Pre-production setup
  • Production (the actual filming)
  • Post-production (editing)
  • Animation, motion graphics, or special effects

Both in-house and outsourced production have their own unique advantages. Building your own video team, you have the opportunity to accrue talent in-house, draw from a deep knowledge of your brand, and keep and reuse the equipment you buy. In the long run, in-house is almost always cheaper on a per-video basis.

But outsourcing has big benefits too. You get a partner with a neutral, outside perspective, lots of experience, and a ready-made team. External video agencies have the benefit of a larger, often more well-rounded team that’s produced a lot of videos.

Pros of Producing Video In-House

  • Deep understanding of your brand
  • Knowledge of past brand videos
  • Full creative control
  • Own the equipment
  • Easy to schedule reshoots
  • Set own timelines
  • Output is directly tied to team size
  • Imperfections can create a sense of authenticity

Cons of Producing Video In-House

  • Difficult to be unbiased
  • Initial investment in equipment can be expensive (but not always)
  • Salaried team members make downtime costly
  • Scheduling team members as actors can be disruptive
  • Team size limits production capabilities
  • Your team members have to wear many hats

Pros of Outsourcing Video Production

  • Unbiased, outside perspective
  • Expert storytellers and writers
  • Professional actors who look natural on camera
  • Videos designed for conversions and optimized for search
  • No need to source and buy equipment
  • Experience working with a variety of clients
  • No need to hire a full-time headcount
  • No need to distract employees from their work
  • Experience with special effects and animation

Cons of Outsourcing Video Production

  • Time spent interviewing freelancers or agencies
  • Less refined understanding of your brand
  • Limited creative control
  • Project timeline out of your hands
  • More expensive on a per-video basis
  • If using freelancers, managing them can take extra time

Both strategies have downsides as well. If you go with your own team, you’re taking a bit of a gamble that you can assemble the right people with the right skills to get things done on schedule. The last thing you want is a missed timeline plus added expenses for unforeseen revisions because the team hasn’t done it before.